New Castle County alerts property owners to federal flood risk map changes, co-hosts
Tuesday May 23 informat 4-7 pm at
William Penn High School,
713 East Basin Road, New Castle
New Castle – On May 23, New Castle County is hosting an open house with Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to answer questions from residents about recently updated federal flood risk maps for New Castle County. The open house will take place from 4-7 pm at William Penn High School, 713 East Basin Road, New Castle.
FEMA’s updated preliminary flood risk maps provide 100-year flood risk information for a number of watersheds in New Castle County, including several streams that have not previously been mapped for flood risk. They have been prepared through a partnership with DNREC to improve the accuracy of flood risk maps statewide. As the local land use and planning agency, New Castle County is working jointly with DNREC and FEMA to alert members of the public who are affected by changes in the maps and to be an informational resource for property owners who have flood risk, flood mitigation and insurance-related questions.
“It is important that New Castle County residents are aware of updated federal flood risk maps and the impact on their properties,”County Executive Matthew Meyer said. “That is why New Castle County has collaborated with state and federal partners to contact residents individually who are affected by these changes and encourage them to attend our May 23 open house where representatives from New Castle County, FEMA and DNREC will be on-hand to answer their questions about flood risk and flood insurance. We invite all interested members of the public to join us.”
Earlier this month, New Castle County’s Land Use Department mailed written notices to approximately 6,300 New Castle County landowners whose properties lie within or adjacent to floodplain boundaries. Approximately 1,200 of these parcels have been removed from the updated flood risk maps, an equal number have been added to the updated flood risk maps and 3,900 include flood plain boundaries that have moved within the parcel. These County notices included personalized property maps to help landowners compare floodplain boundaries on the current maps and the proposed preliminary maps.
FEMA’s flood risk maps are used to establish insurance rates and by local communities to develop and enforce local floodplain codes. Many communities have recently adopted higher floodplain development standards and many of these higher standards, such as building elevation, limiting development in floodplains and flood resistant foundation designs, are adopted as part of New Castle County’s flood ordinance.
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover damage incurred by flooding, however, all property owners can purchase flood insurance and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program makes flood insurance available to local property owners. Homeowners interested in how the proposed changes could impact the cost of their flood insurance premium should contact their insurance agent. Mortgage lenders require borrowers whose properties are located in a designated special flood hazard area to purchase flood insurance as a condition of receiving a federally backed mortgage loan.
Residents with questions should contact John Gysling, New Castle County Floodplain Administrator in the Department of Land Use at (302) 395-5400.